16-Week 5k Open Water Swim Training Plan

Author

Mike Jotautas

All plans by this Coach

Length

16 Weeks

Typical Week

3 Swim, 1 Custom

Longest Workout

0:20 hrs

Plan Specs

swimming beginner intermediate masters pace based

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Summary

If you are an experienced triathlete or swimmer interested in toeing the line for a big swim, this 16-week swim training plan will have you prepared -- as long as you put in the work :-)

This is a 4-month periodized program giving you ample time to establish consistency, introduce you to CSS (Critical Swim Speed) training and build the aerobic diesel engine you'll need to cruise through 5k's of open water. That is to say, it is a gradual enough build to avoid over-doing the mileage too soon and too quickly

Prior to starting this plan, you should already be comfortable completing swim sessions of approximately 2500-3000m two to three times per week.

There are 5 phases in the program with a recovery week between each:

Phase 1: Establish Consistency
Phase 2: Developing Stroke Economy
Phase 3: CSS/Threshold Development
Phase 4: Developing Sustained Endurance
Phase 5: Fine-tuning & Taper

Coach Mike Jotautas is a Swim Smooth Certified Coach located in Louisville, KY, USA and the program is based on Swim Smooth's training & coaching methodologies.

You might find it a wise investment to subscribe to the Swim Smooth virtual coaching system called the "Guru" to reference the full drill video library if you are not familiar with some of the drills and other concepts in this program.

Copy and paste the URL www.swimsmooth.guru into your browser to learn more.

Good luck!

Stats

Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 00:01

Mike Jotautas

Swim Smooth Louisville

Multisport/Triathlon Personalized Coaching. Specialty in Triathlon and Open Water Swimming. Advanced 1-2-1 Video Analysis, Stroke Correction & Private Lessons, Beginner Swim Lessons, and Pool and Open Water Squad Training. Swim Smooth Certified, US Masters Level 3 Certified, USA Triathlon Level 1 Certified. More Information: www.swimsmoothlouiville.com

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

3000m
Pure Technique - One At a Time

WARM UP
1 x 300 easy freestyle
3 x 100 fins
1. 50 streamline kick /50 freestyle B5s
2. 25 kick on L side + 25 kick on R side + 50 freestyle B5s
3. 50 "6/1/6 Drill / 50 freestyle B5s

6 x 50 pull buoy and paddles B3/5/7/3... R: 10
3 x 100 fins
1. 50 " 6/3/6 Drill" / 50 freestyle B5s
2. 50 broken arrow / 50 freestyle B5s
3. 50 Popov / 50 freestyle B5s

1 x 300 easy freestyle

MAIN SET
Focus kick:
4 x 75 (25 R Side / 25 Front / 25 L Side) R: 10

Focus alignment:
2 x 150 fins and one freestyler paddle
1. 50 javelin L +50 freestyle breathe R + 50 Javelin L
2. 50 javelin R +50 freestyle breathe L + 50 Javelin R

Focus rhythm:
1 x 300 freestyle (2 x five fast strokes per 50)

Focus catch:
6 x 50 pull buoy (12 ½ scull # 1 + 12 ½ doggy paddle + 25 freestyle)

LASTLY
Your choice
12 x 25 freestyle (odds Fast, evens Easy)
OR
3 x 100 pull buoy and bands

Sample Day 3

3100m
Technique/Endurance - Just Cruising - 3100

WARM UP
500 easy freestyle – breathe every 5 on laps 5 & 10

5 x 100 pull buoy as (12 ½ scull #2 + 12 ½ doggy paddle + 75 freestyle) (+10s)

300 easy freestyle as (100 breathe L + 100 breathe R + 100 B5s)

300 fins ↑ broken arrow ↓ freestyle B5s

300 easy freestyle as (100 breathe L + 100 breathe R + 100 B5s)

MAIN SET
1 x 600 freestyle @ CSS +:04
1 x 600 freestyle @ CSS +:06 (swim with the beeper for first 200, get ahead of it for the next 200, then settle back to swimming with the beeper for the final 200)

Sample Day 8

2500m
Threshold Pace Swim Test - 400/200

WARM UP
200 Easy, mix of strokes
100 FINS (50 drill of choice / 50 Swim)
100 PULL with buoy (and paddles) Breathe 3/5/7/3 by 25
100 buoy, done as: 2 x (25 scull / 25 freestyle)
2 x 50 (25 FAST / 25 EZ) R: 15-20
2 x 100 at your "predicted" T-pace R: 30

MAIN SET
1 X 400 at your best effort!

Take a good 5-8 minutes rest with some light swimming and stretching

1 x 200 at your best effort!

AFTER A BIT OF RECOVERY:
2 X 100 at your new CSS Pace to see what that pace feels like, take 20sec rest between them

THEN:

4-5 x 200 at your CSS + 6
-If using a Tempo Trainer Pro rest for 1 beep between 200's. OR Rest for ~25 sec between 200's
- This will generally be your very long-distance pace. Do these 200's to get a feel for this pace.

COOL DOWN
100

TEST INSTRUCTIONS:
The test involves two time-trials: a 400m and a 200m (or 400 and 200 yards in a yard pool):

Before attempting these swims perform a thorough warm-up and a small build set to get you used to swimming fast.

Perform the 400 time-trial first, it's less likely to effect the 200 than the other way around.
Swim both time-trial from a push off from the wall, not a dive.

Recover completely between the time-trials with some very easy swimming for around 5-10 minutes.

Remember these are time-trials so you must swim them as fast as possible but also try and pace them out well, don't start too fast and blow up.

If you can, get a friend or coach to record your splits and total time. Also ask them to count your strokes per minute in the 3rd 100m of the 400m to use as your stroke rate base rate. The easiest way of doing this is to count how many strokes (Left = 1, Right = 2, Left = 3 etc) you take in 15 seconds and multiply by 4.

Repeat the test every 4-6 weeks to track your progress and adjust your target swimming paces.

If you're good at math and want to know the CSS calculation, here it is:

CSS (m/sec) = (400 - 200) / (T400 - T200)

Where T400 and T200 are your 400 and 200m times in seconds.

We then convert your speed from m/sec into time per 100m.

Sample Day 10

3000m
Bi-Lateral Breathing for Symmetry - 3000

WARM UP
1 x 200 pull buoy B3/5/7/3...

2 x 100 fins (↑ 25 javelin L + 25 freestyle breathe R ↓ 25 javelin R + 25 freestyle breathe L)

4 x 50 freestyle at 75% effort +10s

1 x 200 fins B6s (↑ breathe R ↓ breathe L)

2 x 100 pull buoy and optional paddles

4 x 50 fins (freestyle 90% effort)

1 x 200 freestyle (breathe least favourite side)

2 x 100 fins ↑ broken arrow ↓ freestyle

4 x 50 pull buoy (12 ½ scull # 1 + 12 ½ doggy paddle + 25 freestyle)

MAIN SET
4 x 300
#1. 100 pull buoy + 100 streamline kick + 100 freestyle
#2. freestyle (10 fast strokes B5s once per 50)
#3. fins ↑ 6/5/6 ↓ freestyle B5s
#4. freestyle (optional backstroke on laps 5 & 6)

Sample Day 12

3100m
Endurance - What Does the Clock Say? - 3100

WARM UP
5 x 200 R: 10-15
1. easy freestyle
2. fins ↑ 6/1/6 ↓ B5s
3. pull buoy 4 x(12 ½ scull #1 + 12 ½ doggy paddle + 25 freestyle)
4. fins ↑ broken arrow ↓ B5s
5. easy freestyle

BUILD SET
10 x 100 all done at @75 – 80% effort
1 - 2. Breathe Left 4s
3 - 4 Breathe Right 4s
5 - 6. Breathe 5s
7 - 8. Breathe Left 4s
9 - 10. Breathe Right 4s

MAIN SET
500 @ CSS + :05
500 @ CSS + :03

COOL DOWN
100

Sample Day 15

2835m
Up to "Warp Speed" - 3100

WARM UP
1 x 200 easy swim loosen up
1 x 200 Fins - 25 "6-1-6" Drill/25 just swim
4 x 50 Buoy&Paddles Breathe 3's R:10


MAIN SET
Gradually increase the amount of rest you get from one set of 100's to the next. Given that your recovery period actually increases during this set, you should find your ability to take your swimming to warp speed by the end of the Main Set (give or take!)

4 x 100 R:05s
4 x 100 R:10s
4 x 100 R:15s
4 x 100 R:20s
4 x 100 R:25s


COOL DOWN
200 Side kick with fins
200 (buoy optional - 25 Sculling / 75 Swim)

Sample Day 17

3100m
Catch, Pull, & Cadence- 3100

WARM UP
300 easy freestyle
100 fins as 25 kick on L side + 25 kick on R side + 50 freestyle
200 moderate freestyle
200 fins 50 6/1/6 Drill + 50 freestyle
100 fast freestyle
300 fins 50 broken arrow + 50 freestyle


DRILLS & PRE-SET
16 x 50 R: 10 (or interval that gives approx this much rest)
1 – 4. pull buoy (12 ½ scull #1 + 37 ½ freestyle)
5 – 8. pull buoy (12 ½ scull #2 + 37 ½ freestyle)
9 – 12. pull buoy with band
13 & 14. bands only
15 & 16. pull buoy (12 ½ doggy paddle + 37 ½ freestyle)


MAIN SET - STROKE RATE/CADENCE
6 x 150 R: 20
1 & 2. freestyle (50 easy + 50 moderate + 50 fast)
3 & 6. freestyle with Tempo Trainer Pro set on your base stroke rate (E.g. using Mode 3 on the Tempo Trainer, experiment with your stroke rate, first match it to your current stroke rate, then try adjusting up or down)

COOL DOWN
200

16-Week 5k Open Water Swim Training Plan

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